Archive for the Category: Language

Magrangs

Does anyone know if there is a word for words that have the same length and constituent letters, but are not anagrams, such as bee and ebb, and aloof and offal. I received an email from Peter Hewkin today who suggests the word magrang (a magrang of anagram) for such words. Do you have other […]

Also posted in English, Words and phrases 4 Comments

Savouring sapient and savvy saphiophiles

An interesting new word I came across recently is sapiophile [seɪpɪofaɪl/sapiofaɪl]. When I first saw it I wasn’t sure what it meant, but as soon as I looked it up it made sense. It means “someone who is (sexually) attracted to intelligence / intelligent people” [source]. It comes from the Latin sapiō and the Ancient […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Greek, Latin, Proto-Indo-European, Words and phrases 2 Comments

Language quiz

Here’s a multilingual sign I saw on a café at Oxford Road station in Manchester yesterday. Can you identify and translate the languages on it? Click on the photo to see a larger version. This should be an easy one.

Also posted in Quiz questions 6 Comments

Multilingual Manchester

I had a multilingual day in Manchester today – I spent part of it listening to choirs and other groups performing as part of the Manchester Day celebrations. They sang in English, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Maori, Hebrew and Yiddish, and I also watched the Manchester Day parade. I also went to the Polyglot Pub, a […]

Also posted in English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Language learning, Portuguese, Russian, Scottish Gaelic, Spanish, Swedish, Welsh Leave a comment

Suburban bans

In French the word banlieue [bɑ̃.ljø] can refer to: 1. Circonscription territoriale qui s’étendait à une lieue hors de la ville et dans laquelle un juge pouvait exercer sa juridiction. (Territorial division that stretched a mile out of town and in which a judge could exercise jurisdiction). 2. Territoire et ensemble des localités qui environnent […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, French, Latin, Words and phrases Leave a comment

The elusive illusive

Sometimes you think you know a word, but when you check it, you discover that you’ve mixed it up with a similar-sounding word. That’s what happened to me this week with the words elusive and illusive. Without looking them up, do you know what they mean? When you’re searching for something but have trouble finding […]

Also posted in English, Etymology, Words and phrases 3 Comments

Interview with Mango Languages

A while ago I did a interview with Mango Languages in which I talk about Omniglot and how and why I learnt my languages. If you’re interested you can hear it here: There’s a related blog post here: https://blog.mangolanguages.com/an-interview-with-the-omniglot

Also posted in General Leave a comment

Language quiz

Here’s a recording in a mystery language. Can you identify the language, and do you know where it’s spoken?

Also posted in Quiz questions 4 Comments

Rowing your boat

The French equivalent of to go for a row (in a boat), is faire un tour en barque or faire de la barque, and to row (a boat) is ramer, which also means to stake, although if you’re rowing as a sport then it’s faire de l’aviron. A barque is a small boat or rowing […]

Also posted in English, French, Words and phrases 1 Comment

Micro-learning

I got an email yesterday from someone who is “developing a micro-learning program dedicated to language learning”. This was the first time I’d heard the term micro-learning so I wasn’t entirely sure what it meant. According to Wikipedia, microlearning “deals with relatively small learning units and short-term learning activities”. This sounds like the technique some […]

Also posted in English, Language learning 3 Comments
%d bloggers like this: